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Farhad Dalal
Farhad Dalal
2.5 Star popcorn reviewss


There was a time in the late 2000s and early 2010s that the Hindi Film Industry was flourishing with content that was experimental in many ways. With films like Delhi Belly or even Kalakaandi, the crime thriller comedy space was flourishing with the story focused around misadventures or staged across a single night where mayhem would ensue. Slowly but surely, this sub-genre starting dwindling to a point that such silly crime comedies were a rarity. So when I did come across the first look of the new Hindi film Blackout, my craving for a film in this sub-genre began to increase overnight. I was quite looking forward to watching this film.that seemed to be a mad comic caper stationed around a single night in a city supposedly experiencing a blackout. It also starred Vikrant Massey in his first release after 12th Fail, and instantly the stocks of the film were high enough to have me interested. With much anticipation, I ventured into Blackout which is now streaming on Jio Cinema, does it manage to impress, let’s find out.

Story & Screenplay

Blackout follows the story of a reporter Lenny whose misadventures lead him to pocket some stolen jewels only for his life to take a turn for the worse in a long unending night in the city of Pune. What happens next? The story here had all the ingredients to be a mad crime comedy thriller set in a single night, something which would amount to chaos and misadventures all wrapped in a silly but entertaining ride. But I did feel that from a screenplay perspective which was standing at just under 2 hours, this was perhaps the second last draft that may have been implemented. It needed to be further fine tuned particularly with mishaps in the second hour that briefly changes its tone before getting back on track, only later to head towards a slightly underwhelming final act. The dots in the screenplay were definitely there but it somehow felt diluted at the end of the drama. 

The drama gets off to a good start with a gang loose on the streets of Pune who firstly initiate a blackout in the city before proceeding towards a potential robbery. Elsewhere, you are introduced to the protagonist working as a reporter and sharing a flirtatious relationship with his wife until the blackout strikes his home(along with the entire city). Soon you realise that the writers are cheeky to narrate a story of seemingly unrelated incidents that transpire at different times in the city before their worlds collide. This did make for a thrilling premise when the worlds actually collide, and the protagonist decides to take the leap of faith. But at regular junctures in the screenplay even the writers take frequent leaps of faith, either through the introduction of multiple characters with their little back stories, or some weird twists and turns. And while not all twists land and some may seem abrupt with respect to the story, it still does account for bouts of entertainment. 

The proceedings are fairly entertaining particularly in the first hour with multiple characters being introduced, and each of them bring a different flavour to the events of the film. I must say that the events of the film are chaotic but I also did get a feeling that the writers were very self aware of it. As a result, the humour is situational and intentionally silly even as the characters look to bury a body only to realise that he is actually alive. This, even as few more characters drop in and as a character exclaims – Itne special appearances hai, sabko payment nahi denge(There are so many special appearances in the film but not all actors will be paid, rofl😂). The extended car chase sequence results in another important twist in the tale at the halfway mark that literally came out of nowhere. But the issue lay just after that! 

The tone of the second hour is a little serious and a little departure from the randomly silly misadventures that were the major talking point of the drama thus far. The base of the second half itself is slightly under par and weak with the two gangsters having a go at each other. The drama momentarily does get back on track as well with literally a shootout that ensues. But on either side of that shootout, the drama is underwhelming. This is true even as the true identity of a few characters is revealed, something that wasn’t staged as well as it ought to have been. And the finale itself was simplistic and underwhelming to say the least. This did give me an impression that the screenplay had all the ingredients but the actual locked screenplay was two drafts ahead of what may eventually have been finalized. So overall, the screenplay definitely has its moments and it *almost* makes for a fun watch.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are sharp and make a good case for a quirky outing but not all jokes land, and that can again be attributed to a below par execution. The music is pretty good and the beats go well with the vibe of the drama. The BGM is interesting too adding some much needed urgency to the proceedings. The cinematography and lighting will remain the unsung heroes of the film. I absolutely loved the frames filled with pink neo-noir lights that frequently enhanced my viewing experience, something that impressed me a lot. The editing is good but towards the end it did get a little patchy as well. Director Devang Bhavsar does a decent job but I still did feel that this film could have been executed better. There were instances wherein the staging let the film down, thereby diluting its impact, something that could have been done better(the case in point being the pre-finale showdown between the detective and the protagonist). It still was a brave attempt though which needs to be applauded.


The performances are pretty good here by the ensemble cast. The special appearances of Prasad Oak and Chhaya Kadam do leave a mark whereas Ruhani Sharma, Kelly Dorji and Anant Joshi have little to do. Jisshu Sengupta had an important part but I did feel that the writing did let down his character to an extent. Same was the case with Mouni Roy who looked pretty but didn’t really come to the party at the end. The two stars for me were Sudhakar Sonawane as Thik and Saurabh Ghadge as Thak, both of whom were excellent in their debut outing and truly understood the world that they were entering. Their comic timing was spot on wherein they found laughter in some rather unexpected moments. Sunil Grover as Bewda had the best character arc in the film and his transformation comes as a surprise. But it was a great actor at the fore that often steadied the ship with his understated performance. Vikrant Massey definitely does a good job in a role that allows him to play to the galleries. This performance highlighted a different form of his personality which wasn’t privy to the viewers earlier.


Blackout is a silly crime comedy that is entertaining in parts and *almost* makes for a fun watch. But I felt the microscope lay on the second half, both in terms of the writing and execution that diluted that overall impact of the film thereby making it fall just short of a fun watch. Available on Jio Cinema.

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